The Thinker statue at UofL

The University of Louisville Faculty Senate got right down to business at its first meeting of the 2022-23 academic year, which took place September 7. In a unanimous decision, the senate approved the creation of an undergraduate certificate program in franchise management. The certificate program will operate in the College of Business Department of Management & Entrepreneurship under the direction of Kathleen Gosser, Yum! assistant professor of franchise management practice.

Gosser provided an overview of the certificate program to senate meeting attendees.

“This aligns with our university’s strategic plan, specifically where our priorities focus on being a great place to learn and a great place to connect,” said Gosser, who is also director of the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence, Management & Entrepreneurship. “UofL is the first university in the country to offer such a program. Only one other university has a franchise management minor, while others have only one class in the subject.”

The 12-credit-hour program will begin in the spring 2023 semester and will be fully online. Gosser added that, while there is potential for growth, especially given the growth in the franchise industry, the certificate program will initially be offered to those currently enrolled in a UofL degree program (not offered as a standalone certificate).

Course content will focus on all elements of the franchise model that are not taught within the industry such as legalities, relationships, funding models, growing a franchised business as well as building and human resources infrastructure for a franchised business.

Details about the undergraduate certificate program in franchise management are available here.

President Updates

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Center for Engaged Learning will take place Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Located on the bottom floor of the university’s new residence hall, the CEL will serve as a resource for students who are interested in engaged/experiential learning opportunities.

The number of interim positions at the senior leadership levels generates concerns throughout the university community. Interim President Lori Gonzalez and Interim Provost Gerry Bradley have been posting monthly messages to the community and have been hosting informal conversations with faculty and staff. The Office of the President is working with the Kent School of Social Work Center for Family Well Being to identify strategies for building trust throughout the community. Town hall meetings with senior administration to address concerns as well as other strategies are being planned as well.

The strategic plan co-chairs, board of trustees, president’s and provost’s leadership teams and university deans have rescheduled the release and implementation of UofL’s new strategic plan to January 2023. This change in release date will allow the necessary time for all to consider our community’s suggestions and questions carefully and respectfully.

Kudos to the UofL community for once again being named one of America’s “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly universities, according to Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization that rates colleges and universities according to their support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

UofL has joined JED Campus in support of student well-being and mental health. The program is a nationwide initiative of The Jed Foundation (JED) to help schools evaluate and strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety nets.

The university received a $600,000 appropriation from the Kentucky General Assembly to renovate space for military-connected students. Renovations are underway at the space formerly occupied by the university’s International Center, which has moved to Jouett Hall.

Provost Updates

At 2,944 first-time students, this year’s freshman class is the largest in recent history and more students – about 3,700 – are living on campus than ever before, now is the time to identify new and creative ways to keep students enrolled. The provost’s office is working with the deans to build on one another’s retention efforts. Details about the faculty’s role in those efforts are forthcoming.

Searches for new deans of the College of Arts & Sciences (Libraries Dean Bob Fox, search committee chair) and the Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work and Family Science (School of Music Music Dean Teresa Reed, search committee chair) are underway with anticipated completion by the end of 2022. Searches for the deans of the College of Business and School of Nursing will begin in the spring of 2023. The search for the dean of the School of Education will begin in the fall of 2023. Other searches include a vice provost of online strategy and teaching innovation and a chief cyber security officer.

The UofL Demographic 25 committee was formed to address the projected sharp decline in traditional college-age students (18 years old) by the year 2025. The committee, comprised of about 80 people, developed strategies to help mitigate challenges posed by the decline. On August 19, the committee presented their action plans to both Interim President Gonzalez and interim Provost Bradley. The proposals tackled several different topics, including online learning, academic program quality, institutional aid, recruitment and more. The president and provost are now reviewing those proposals and will determine what the university will prioritize in both the long term and the short term.


Melissa Shuter, executive director of Operation Support Services, provided an update on the Workday implementation progress. Workday HR will replace Peoplesoft HR. Quick reference guides and other resources are in development. Training will be provided for those who hire or do job recruiting. User acceptance testing was recently completed, which generated helpful feedback on further development and smooth transition to the new system. More than 180 different training materials will be released in early November.

Learn more about Workday at UofL here.

In Memoriam

Faculty Senator Joseph Guttman delivered a memorial tribute for Michael Francis Hottois, who died May 22, 2022, at age 76. Hottois retired from the University of Louisville after more than 40 years teaching scenic and lighting design. He was a full professor and former chair of the theater department and designed sets for local, regional and national theatres, including the Louisville Ballet and HBO.

Read the full memorial presentation here.

Committee Reports

Committee reports from the Sept. 7 Faculty Senate meeting are available here. A recording of the senate meeting is available here.

The next UofL Faculty Senate meeting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Clinical Translational Research Building, room 101/102, on the Health Sciences Campus.